Barnardos x Channel 4 'Lost Children' Documentary

Last week I was invited by Barnardos to view the screening of one of two documentaries they'd produced showing their work at their school, High Close, and just how hard life can be for children who's start has been challenging and how it can affect their behaviour. The school works with their needs to help them to achieve many things, one of those being an education (when the education system has failed them in some way) along with working with their behavioural issues.

I don't want to tell you too much about it but I urge you to watch it. I've found people's reactions to children with behavioural issues quite shocking. Many are dismissive, citing 'I blame the parents'. Most of the time these children have gone through hell and it is often to do with the parents, or sometimes lack of parenting. Whether they've been in care and moved from pillar to post, which was true in Josh's case, experienced any kind of abuse, they are going to have issues. A lot of people curse and brand them a 'waste of space' and don't give them the time of day. This is where Barnardos step in. They truly are an amazing charity, one that I support fully and shall continue to do so. I cannot begin to tell you about all the amazing work they do, but you can see it for yourself...

The documentary was screened at Channel 4 and was attended by some pretty powerful people.

 L-R:   James Westhead (Director, Teach First), Graham Stuart MP (Chair,Education Select Committe), Anne Marie Carrie (CEO, Barnardos), Brian Lamb OBE (Policy Consultant, Acheivement for All), Zoe Latimer (Principal, High Close), James House (Documentary Director)

You can see their reaction to the documentary below.

It made for very compelling, emotional viewing.

You can see the documentary tonight (31st July) at 10pm on Channel 4. The first in this two part series tells the story of Courtney. The second part, featuring Josh (the one I saw) is on Channel 4 on 7th August.

Barnardos are on Twitter and Facebook.



  [proh-kras-tuh-ney-shuhn, pruh]

the act or habit of procrastinatingor putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.

This has pretty much been what my day has entailed. A whole lotta procastinatin'.

It started off well, I hung the washing out and put the food shopping away. And then I looked around me. The carpet that needs cleaning, the walls that need painting, crap everywhere... I've definitely lost all interest in the house that we live in. I'm desperate for a home, our home. A home that we can paint and decorate until our hearts are content. Renting sucks ass and hopefully, fingers crossed, we'll be in a position to buy by the end of the year.

So today I have been scouring Right Move, reading interior blogs and looking at paint charts, deciding which colours to paint each room in the house we've not yet bought (my husband is probably breaking out in a panic induced sweat - don't worry, it can be done on a budget).

Here are some inspirational gems I've stumbled upon today...

3. Design Sponge

4. Something I Made (I wrote about this one a while ago but go back to it A LOT)

If you are looking for home inspiration then take a look at these blogs but I must warn you, you won't get much else done...


We've teamed up with the fab KyNa Boutique for a great giveaway!

How cute is this Indikidual top? Wanna win it? We have one of these in age 3-4 to giveaway, enter below. 

KyNa Boutique is known for it's Organic cotton baby and kids clothes, free delivery, free returns and EXCEPTIONAL customer service. Go check them out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Smoking / Being Cool

When I was sixteen, I started smoking (sorry Dad, if you're reading this). My Mum used to smoke and I thought she looked pretty cool, a bit like a chic actress type. So because of that and peer pressure from my friends, I started. It made me go light headed and tasted gross but in my head I looked really cool. I couldn't do it properly but I carried on not doing it properly, I wasn't going to be the geek that obeyed by the rules, nosiree.

But like pretty much everything I do (Lilian and writing aside), I got bored of it so I stopped. Little did I know I'd end up the uncool one of the group anyway, rebelling but still uncool. Whatevs.

Two years later, my Grandad died from lung cancer.

Now I have Lilian, my views on smoking have completely changed. Each to their own was always my my motto on the subject. Now it's different. In my opinion, if you have children and you smoke you're a selfish idiot. Sorry but it's true.

How would I feel if I found out Lilian had tried a cigarette when she's a teenager? Livid. And if she thought it was disgusting? Relieved. But if she smoked, took it up as a habit, I would go MENTAL. I often think about how I'll discipline her as an eight year old, a twelve year old, a teenager. But I cannot even begin to think about how I'd go about it if she smoked. I'd like to think she won't, that she'll have more brains than that, but we'll see.

I've signed up to support the Smoke Free South West Campaign for plain packaging. Here are a few facts that actually shocked me:

I hope that most of you will pledge your support for this, whether you have children or not.  If you want to, you can do so here.


The winner of the lovely giveaway from The Homemade Mama is:

Jenny at KyNa Boutique!

Thank you to all those who entered. Don't forget to check out The Homemade Mama if you haven't done so already.

Whine AND wine.

I'm gonna do a whine..... this teething bollocks is getting outta hand. With a temperature of 39/40 last night and major panic from me, mashed up with at 1:30 A-FUCKING-M wake up this morning for TWOGODDAMNHOURS, I'm pretty much done. DONE DUN DUNNNNNNNN. I need more wine.

It's bad enough that I have to wake up at least three times in the night, twice to whining and once because she thinks it's appropriate to recite every single word she knows for two hours straight 'Mummy daddy yaya auntie poo monty moo baa peppa ellie noo noo no mummy toes draw'....etc.... she hasn't quite caught on to 'gothefucktosleep', let alone constant grumpiness in the day unless Daddy is around. 'Daddy daddy daddy daddy daddydaddydaddydaddydaddydaddy'. Daddy is at work. 'Daddy'. Daddy is in the car. 'Daddy'. Daddy has gone the shops. 'Daddy'. Daddy has probably thrown himself off a bridge if he has any sense because that is what Mummy is going to do if you don't stop fucking asking for Daddy. 'Daddy'.

Oh fuck off.

Am I wrong to be thinking these things in my head? AM I?

All I want is quiet. No whining or 'Daddy' or tantrums of screaming or whining. Oh, I already did that one. I want smiles and laughter back. Not raging red gums or Calpol down my leg because she thinks it's funny to spit it out.

Did I write this all already in a previous post? Oh, I did. Sorry.

Teething, terrible, terrible two's...

Been a bit quiet, sorry about that.

Lil is teething, hardcore this time. Proper hardcore. She has two new teeth with another about to cut. If you're yet to experience teething, can I just warn you... you will need a lot of Calpol, Nurofen, wine / vodka / gin and patience. I'm struggling over here...

Another addition to our lives... 'the terrible two's'. Yeah I know, she's fifteen months old. Well that's just another thing that don't tell you. Apparently they can strike before two so really it shouldn't be called the terrible two's at all. Arseholes.

So I may be dipping in and out of this over the next few weeks until a) the teething settles down (although I doubt this will be until her gob is full of them) and b) I have her tantrums under control (foot stamping and all - if it's possible to get them under control... you tell me.).

In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine. It's supposed to be a scorcher week.

Soft Play AKA Hell.

As a kid I remember not being that excited about soft play. Little did I know all those years ago, they'd grow to be my worst enemy.

Lil has been twice. The first time was for her friend, M's, birthday party. It was a smaller version of those big ones you find on industrial sites or attached to pubs. This one was in a chic cafe and an absolute gem. I didn't mind it because it smelt of disinfectant. It's a shame we don't live closer (it was in Bristol) because I know we'd be in there at least once a week. Ok maybe that's an exaggeration. We'd definitely be in there at least once a month.

The second was last week in Northampton. We were killing some time and needed to wear Lil out so she'd nap before we headed over to Alice's for play time with Elfie. It was large and smelt of sweaty feet and my first reaction was to gag. GRIM. But Lil enjoyed it, as did Tim, while I sat there twitching, antibac gel to hand. Loud, shouty, dirty children everywhere. I don't like children. Other peoples anyway (friends kids aside). So you can probably imagine the grimace on my face for the whole forty five minutes we were there. 

All those germs. And that ball pool. Ugh. 

It isn't just me, is it?

Today. Before. Back then.

Today has been an absolute fucking write off.

She was up loads in the night and as always, I dealt with it alone. Restless, whiny and clingy (her), livid, grouchy and stabby (me).

This morning consisted of a thirty minute nap which is unusual even though her routine is pretty out of whack anyway. But I thought it would help her bad mood. It didn't.

A trip out. Yes, that would work. We'll go out with Auntie Ellie for frozen yoghurt (my new addiction) and perhaps ten minutes in the Disney store would sort her out. It didn't.

A bottle, that would work. She'd be happier after a bottle seeings as she's pretty much refusing all food right now. It didn't.

A bath, yes. A bath always works. It didn't.

So, as I said, today has been a write off.

But it isn't entirely her fault (or maybe it is). I'm tired exhausted, my skin is a mess (three new spots appeared this afternoon), I feel super low again and fat and my clothes look stupid and I bought a dress thinking I'd look nice in it and I don't and I'm desperate for a new wardrobe and my cuticles have flared up (stress) so I need a manicure but Lilian needs £10 worth of Calpol more.... I feel totally under appreciated and totally overwhelmed how hard this is again. Maybe it's because it has been the three of us for the past week and Tim has taken the weight off for a bit. Maybe it's because she's the clingiest she's been and christ knows I cannot stand clingy.... Maybe it's because I need some quiet, real quiet.

I miss being reckless and drunk and hungover and stupid and irresponsible. I miss it so much my heart hurts. I love her, I love being a Mum. But I can see why women walk away from their responsibilities (for god sake, don't take that and twist it - I'm going nowhere).

I want skinny and vodka and clear skin and laughing til you're sick and staying out late and nice shoes and wolf whistles and looks of lust and head turning and loud music and The White Hart and an hour in Zara and a disposable income. Just for one day. Just one day. I want to be me again, the old me.

Don't tell me you don't feel the same....

Teenage skin.

As a teen and up until about twenty four, I had good skin. Really good, clear, flawless skin. I started cleansing, toning and moisturising at an early age after being encouraged to do so by my stepmum (thanks Liz) and I'd like to think this is the reason my skin was so clear. When I did get a spot, it was usually only one and disappeared after a few days. I was never unfortunate enough to suffer from acne or the like. Needless to say, I was pretty smug when all my friends were walking around with a shit load of spots. I didn't even own a concealer.

So what happened?

I'll tell you what happened, the spot God decided that I'd gotten away with it for too long and now was my time to discover what teenage skin felt like. What an arsehole. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that my nights are often sleepless, my cup always contains caffeine and my belly is hardly ever full of anything other than crap. My excuse? My fifteen month old.

Damn child.

So I'm trying to drink more water and eat less crap, I have nothing to say about getting more sleep. It would appear it's completely out of my control (we are on tooth number 8 - 12 to go...). I'm also treating my skin better although any advice on a good cleanser and toner would be much appreciated. I'm currently using Kiehls Herbal Cucumber Alcohol Free Toner and I think it's pissing my skin off although I'm not sure why. Maybe because all I seem to pump my body with after 7pm is alcohol? Possibly another reason my skin is so shit at the moment.

So please, please, PLEASE... any advice is welcome. Tips? Products that are good for sensitive skin, cleansers, scrubs, masks etc. Don't be greedy, share them with me PLEASE? I'm desperate.


The Homemade Mama otherwise known as SuperMum / Superwoman / Superknitter (or Kimberlee) is another of our wonderful sponsors. She is Mum to the gorgeous Henry and knits and sews and bakes. I'm actually extremely jealous that she has all these wonderful talents, I've tasted her baking... luckily for me I don't live in Bristol otherwise I wouldn't get through the door for all the cakes I'd consume. And her knitting ain't bad either (it's actually amazing - another skill I wish I could master). Yeah, this woman has skillz (check out her recipe for vegan lemon drizzle cake and her DIY how to - make your own cushion cover)

So we've teamed up with her for a giveaway that shows one of them off...

The Homemade Mama is giving away a 100% handmade, double sided heart garland made from luxury Merino yarns. Isn't it so pretty?!

All you have to do is follow The Homemade Mama on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment with your name / Twitter name below.

You have until Tuesday 24th July to enter and a winner will be picked at random by

AND Kimberlee is offering 20% discount when you book a knitting lesson if you quote code OSWYT (ends 22/7).

Talented and generous.

Good luck xoxo

You can follow The Homemade Mama's blog here.

Fresh air & smiles in the countryside.

A Saturday morning read...

One of my favourite writers, because lets face it..... this woman SHOULD be a writer...

A quickie in London.


The winner of the leopard print bows from Napmit is......

Number one! Sharmila. Congratulations!

Please get in contact with your two favourite clip colours.

Happy Friday 13th xoxo

16 / 26

When I was sixteen, I went on a Geography field trip to The Peak District to look at rocks and hills and shit. Boring. Dull. Yawn. It was wet and miserable and there were no boys (I went to an all girls school) and we were staying in a youth hostel. I mean, WTF?

When we pulled up to the youth hostel, I remember thinking this isn't what a youth hostel looks like...

Ilam Hall. It's pretty amazing and gothic like. Steeped in history with lots of stories and drama behind it. I was immediately under it's spell. Yep, at 16 years old, something other than boys had my attention.

I don't remember a lot about the trip other than the places we visited in Derbyshire. Dovedale, the stepping stones, Ashbourne. Such beauty. And I remember being called a geek for my interest in the outdoors.

But I was so in love with the place that three years later I went back for a mini holiday. And again the year after that. And again and again and again....

Here is my visit at 26.

Beautiful views.

The famous stepping stones.

Ilam is one of the most peaceful places I've ever visited. Here, time stops. It's definitely somewhere I'll continue to bring Lilian and I hope it becomes as special to her as it is to me.

Who'd have thought ten years ago I'd still be in love with a place?


Here is another of our beautiful Mama sponsors. Rachel hand makes jewellery. Really REALLY beautiful jewellery.

NAME: Rachel Morrish
OCCUPATION: Mama, Jeweller, Valuer


Wine, going out, cooking, travel, work, fun, friends, loving cleaning and trying to make a baby! 


A really hard question, I think it has made me re-focus my mind and get rid of all the things I don’t need to think or worry about any more….but of course you worry about new stuff instead. It has made me more in tune with my natural instincts.


Coffee, cake, sleep, my iPhone, the internet, drive-thru MacDonald’s coffee and my own mommy.


Trust your own instincts, do what feels right for you and your baby. And SLEEP whenever you can.


Not that much really, I managed to lose my weight quickly, manly as I was a bridesmaid 18 days after giving birth!!! But, don’t do what I did which was about two weeks after giving birth deciding to clear out my wardrobe. I was in no sound state of mind to do it and resulting way too much been given to the charity shop and I am still missing loads of my old clothes even now a year on!!


Both don’t discriminate. 


My baby, other mothers…. when walking with the buggy and I see another mama and you give each other that knowing smile. It makes me feel part of a special club. I think reading blogs and chatting to others you realise we all have bits about motherhood that are great and bits we would want to be better.


Everyone says it and I resist for a while but, sleep when your baby sleeps.
Cold water sterilising, much easier and quicker.
Formula cartons.
Try and enjoy your baby and this time as it goes by so quick.
During night feeds and waking, get your phone out and get online on Twitter or blogs, it will make you realise you are not alone…we are all up and here.
Go out and have a coffee with other mommas, if you don’t know any get to a class and put yourself out there. We all need those moaning moments to another mother.

You can follow Rachel on Twitter and buy her beautiful handmade jewellery here.


We've teamed up with our lovely sponsor, Napmit, for a giveaway. Leopard print fans, you're gonna love this!

Up for grabs are two leopard print hair clips in the colours of your choice. All you need to do is follow Napmit on Twitter and leave a comment below telling us what you think is the best thing about being a Mama. Simple. But don't forget to let us know the two colours you'd like. A winner will be picked using on Friday 13th.

Be lucky!

Lil's Big Toddle

She toddled! And she toddled very well.

Crossing the finish line!

I'd just like to thank all those who sponsored her. We raised a WHOPPING £685 for Barnardos. You have no idea how blessed I feel to have such amazing readers, sponsors, friends and family.

So from Lil and I.......


Thank you to all those who entered the Lollibop family pass giveaway.

We have a winner!!

Number 12 is Joanne Simon! Congratulations. Please get in contact with your address so we can get the tickets sent out to you.

There are still tickets available, if you'd like to purchase click here.